tv San Francisco Government Television SFGTV March 25, 2016 10:00am-12:01pm PDT
this is the regular meeting of government audit oversight committee. today i'm chairing this meeting. i'm joined by supervisor campos. president breed is out. >> i would like to thank sf govtv jim and leo who record each of our meetings and make the transcripts available to the public online. >> madam clerk, do you have any announcements? city clerk: yes, please silence cell phones and other electronic devices. anything to be submitted, should be given to the clerk. >>supervisor norman yee: before we get started, can we have a motion to
excuse supervisor aaron peskin from this meeting. >> so moved. >> without objection, motion passes. also supervisor david campos is here to serve as a member in replacement of supervisor peskin. >> madam clerk, please call first item. city clerk: item no. 1 to assess the impact of coyotes citywide. the a request by the an care and control and the recreation and parks department and the press -- press -- >>supervisor norman yee:
this is a concern about coyotes. just p recently a pack of dogs have been killed. we have reviewing plans of action for our city. today we will hear more about their findings and their suggestions as a city's response plan as we move forward. wild coyotes have been in and around san francisco for many years. this is the first year we have heard of sightings in new areas in balboa terrace. residents are becoming increasingly worried about the coyotes and close to humans. there is also concern for household pets especially when two dogs were attacked by coyotes earlier in year in stern grove and another one in balboa last week. we
are taking measures to better understand the coyotes and mitigate their impacts. animal care and control and recreation and parks have also been proactive in conducting town hall meetings and informing dog owners about coyotes. however, throughout this process, it has become clear that there is still a lot to learn about coyotes in our city and how we as a local jurisdiction can manage the impacts to ensure safety of our residents, pets, while preserving wild life too. i look forward to working with our departments and neighborhoods on a citywide plan. as i mentioned, or we've had this issue come up to us before and in many ways this will be a follow up discussion and i
will ask animal care control to come up with some strategies around this and what kind of resources do we need as we go further. so, are there any other comments? supervisor camp os? >>supervisor david campos: thank you everyone. to me this is very personal as a caretaker of an english bulldog that is not too far from vernal hill which is something i think about and wor about as any dog caretaker here in san francisco. and i think it's important for us to hear from the city on what the strategy is to make sure that ori pets are safe while at the same time
preserving wild life. so, i look forward to the conversation to the discussion and i think that being proactive about something like this and letting people know that we are being proactive i think is important. thank you. >> thank you, any other comments? welcome president breed. okay, let's get started. our first presenter is jonathan young. he's a wild life ecologist from presidio trust. jonathan? presenter: hello and thank you for allowing me this opportunity to present to you about coyotes and how we in the presidio are managing these animals and human coyote conflict. i have a presentation to
view. so, before i get into our management strategies, i think it's really important to put a context to all of this because the connect of these animals in this urban environment really dictate how we manage these animals effectively. so as you all know, these animals are a somewhat recolonization to san francisco and i want to stress this is a recolonization of these animals. these animals used to be had been and were gone, and i want to get into how that plays into management of this all. we know they used to be here because of historic documentation at the academy of sciences and old newspaper articles from the early days of the development of this city discussing coyotes coming into this city and conflict even back in those
days happening. so the last one reported being seen in san francisco was 1925. so you can imagine them having to come back in early 2000, an absence of 75 years in this community is going to play a significant role in how these communities respond to these animals and the general awareness of these animals having been absent for so long. so why did they go locally extinct? it shouldn't about a surprise to many people. back in the day, hunting was the norm for recreation for profit, for fur trade, for deprivation. if these animals would eat lambs or chickens and the government
sponsored bounty. the federal government hired bounty and you can imagine how easy it was to deal with the animals firsthand and the ability to do that with firearms. of course, that has changed. social norms have changed. firearms are not acceptable in city areas, hunting, trapping, all of that throughout the greater bay area has changed. the societal shift in the late 20th century into the 21st century was really reflected in the 1974 state law which banned the
mammalian bounty state sponsored bounty was banned. the habitat within san francisco is appropriate habitat for these animals and the shift allows these animals to recolonized in this city. this concept is really important in how we manage these animals and how realistic we are about these animals in this area. i want to take a step back to really highlight that urban coyotes are not just a san francisco
phenomenon. this is north american wide issue that a community of researchers and managers are really trying to come together in a conversation to really address how do you best manage this because this is a 21st century phenomenon and really is something that will be an indefinite thing across the country. so bringing it back to the bay area, you can see the contrast of open space right up into our urban environments. you can see how all of those open space, not just coyotes but other wild life is very close and these animals are thriving in these open spaces in an area again where
there is society is primed and habitat area is primed to allow the conditions to allow these animals to come in and thrive in these areas. i want to also point out that the conductivity in the bay area is important. these animals can travel long distances. the golden gate bridge have served for other large animals like deer and raccoon. the ability for these animals to come income from the north and south. we have evidence to show that coyotes have come down the bridge in the early 2000s. the reality of these animals as i highlighted with this shift in these boundaries is that these
animals are here to stay. the species. the way that these animals work, their behavior typically a bonded pair, a female and male will establish a home range and they will maintain that home range from other coyotes coming in. when you remove an animal, it opens up that territory, that habitat and other coyotes are going to come right in to find and stake out their own home range. taking it back to the connectivity of the greater bay area in san francisco and the contrast of open spaces, there is an essential, an endless supply of coyotes in the bay area. open habitat is a vacuum. when there is open habitat and a coyote opens suitable
habitat, that's very important, suitable habitat. these animals come in and they will continue to come in as the habitat is made available. the removal of an animal is replaced quickly by another animal. that is a very important concept to understand. i want to discuss a little bit of the details, the psychological dynamic t role these animals play in our urban areas because this is going to factor as to how we manage these animals. so, the first one is food and that means that primarily our focusing on small mammals such as rodents, raccoons and squirrels. that is very important to keep in mind. for lack of a better term right now, pest management, they are very important in maintaining an
ecological balance for a healthy ecosystem, but in addition to that, the service that that provides to human beings as far as pest control is an important factor. of course these animals are into trash and fruit trees really are also a resource that these animals will take advantage of in our urban area. another important concept that i want to address is populations. so, yes, these animals are reproducing in the presidio and likely elsewhere in san francisco. but it's really important to understand that unlike animals such as deers or rabbits, these animals have based on their complex social structure have a self
regulating population. so, again, as i had mentioned earlier, a pair, typically a pair or family unit will maintain their own home range. so that home range includes the resources for them to survive which is habitat, food and water. those are limited resources. these animals, their social structure dictates how and when. if pups are born, the parents typically out of a certain age, depending on the amount of resources in the area, the parents will draw them out typically around the first year. it goes back to a really complex k9 social structure. it's important to understand how their population is self regulated. it's a dynamic concept based
on dynamic and habitat such as resources as water. the drought is going to impact these animals than a regular rainy day or wet year. it's important to recognize that their population do have a limit to them. finally, individual coyotes, that is incredibly important to understand as well. some coyotes are more shy or more bold than other coyotes. so individual, recognizing that coyotes are individuals just like domestic dogs, individuals. it's very important and i will get into why in a little bit. that is very significant into how we manage these animals. of course, this goes without saying, we are all here because of conflict. it's inevitable. again, north america wide, human coyote conflict is a real thing in urban areas.
and a lot of this conflict has a human dimension component to it. the two primary drivers of conflict as mentioned earlier are domestic animals and feeding of wild life. those are the two primary drivers in urban areas that really drive conflict. and so, really quickly i want to point out these images here. of course i'm sure many of you have seen the bottom left one. this is a sign of allegiance and honor, "feeding wild life" i have seen examples of feeding which is very in close proximity to animals. this drives conflict and this is important in how we manage
conflict. i will get into that in a second. so, taking it now to the presidio. if i imagine most everyone in this room is aware that the presidio is a national park, federal jurisdiction. as i mentioned the recolonization in this park, we are as a federal agency approaching this with a very realistic approach to management. and the realism that we have accepted again as i highlighted in my introduction, these animals, the species is going to have an indefinite presence. so, how do we best manage this if we know these animals are going to be here one way or another? well, our main goal, of course, is to
minimize conflict. that is the main goal. minimize conflict. of course, as a federal national park, we are federally mandated to protect the natural resources of the park which includes coyotes ecological role in maintaining a healthy functioning eco system as a mentioned earlier. balancing, minimizing conflict with our federal mandate to protect the resources is obviously a very challenging approach, but it's our approach that we are taking. i want to get into how we are doing that because we have been contacting a lot of these nationwide researchers and managers and developing best management practices which i will get into. in the early 2000s when these animals came back, a variety of local agencies came together in
the presidio and really got together and discussed how do we best manage these animals in this area again to minimize conflict, but balancing them with their ecological role in this national park. so what this group really got together was to define a lot of things. so, defining what is normal coyote behavior. what is abnormal coyote behavior in urban areas. what is the difference between an observation, an interaction, and encounter and an attack. we wanted to define those so there is consistency. we also wanted to develop a systemic investigative assessment procedure so that we can be consistent with how we manage these animals and manage and
minimize conflict. so i want to get into the management and how we deal with this in our best management practices. in presidio, in our national park we have public users and residents that are leasing and renting the old military structures. and again, bringing it back to the human dimension in these conflicts is going to be dictating how we manage these and how we address those human dimensions as well as how we address the coyote dimension. and as i mentioned earlier, the primary conflict are with domestic animals and this conflict, a lot of these situations can be minimized through best management practices. i will get into those right
now. the most significant driver is public knowledge and understanding of these animals. so, the biggest component of that is the lack of information or more so, misinformation out there which is preconceived as threat. seeing an -- that seeing an animal might be a diseased animal. that is not true.
that is actually common to see an animal during the day. we have a web page to address a lot of this misinformation and provide a lot of factual information based on science on these animals. we promote human behavior that reduces this conflict. you can see on the right hand side of this image. part of our resident lease agreement is you are not allowed to have your cats outside. so there is a variety of reasons for that. one which is to protect your cats from coyotes. do not feed the wild life. that is a huge one. on the bottom right, you can see it's a compost bin that has a latch top. so we really do manage our
trash to keep the wild life out of this trash. of course, all of these we provide a where and how to report any concerns, observations, encounters, any of that. we have a hotline and coyote presidio.gov e-mail which is checked regularly by myself and a few other folks. identifying active areas is a key component to our management. as i mentioned earlier and as most people have already recognized, these animals are breeding in the city. in the presidio there was one active confirmed last year. this is a concept that i want to really stress. this time,
the puppying season through march is the most significant time for dog coyote conflict. why that happens is again k9 behavior. an active den sight. parents of that active den sight want to keep them out of that area. in the small area like the presidio where there is a lot of dog walking, it's not that difficult to have a trail walk right by an active den site. it's very important to find these active areas to address that and minimize this conflict. this behavior is very typical with parents trying to keep the k9's out of that. if domestic dogs are in that
area, it's almost clock work that it's going to happen. these parents want them out of that area. so that area is avoided if there is an awareness of that area if it's an act have area with signage. that is going to be important for us as an agency to provide a route to inform people that a dog in this area something very likely is going to happen. instead of going down this trail, there is another area where they are not there. this is going to reduce the conflict significantly. whe with do find these active areas, heavy signage. get it on people's radar that right now a dog in this area, conflict will likely happen. if you avoid this area, you are going to reduce the chance of this conflict
happening. we have brochures we hand out and we are working with our trail ambassadors to post people on these trails to help inform and educate people that this can be avoided in this area at this particular time. of course, we promote heavily keeping k9's, your pets on the leash. because sometimes our domesticated k9 and another one wants to play with it. these are wild animals. ultimately awareness is going to help reduce a lot of these conflicts. monitoring very important. human interaction and dog
interaction. we want to keep you informed so we can investigate. the general observation is very important to keep with that. it's going to play in how we investigate and assess through our procedures and how we manage these situations. so, a lot of phone calls, again, through our hotline and e-mails which are followed up by personal phone calls or face-to-face interviews so we can start to gather these specific details and start to understand what was happening when this conflict happened. what was the coyotes behavior, the human behavior going on, was there a dog present. was it in the den area when it was found? we are going to need to paint the details that will dictate our
management actions. consistency is very important here. so some of the management actions that we implement aside from the human dimensions which is again primarily spreading awareness in information. the other management action are focused on the coyotes themselves. there is a variety of tools that we can use and it's very important when discussing these management actions because, again, these animals coyotes, are in incredibly adaptable intelligent animals. if anyone of these tools are over used or used irresponsibly, these animals can become habituated to these tools. so it's very important how we handle these in a systemic way.
as i mentioned earlier, these animals are individuals. it's incredibly important to know individuals. if there is an individual that is exhibiting abnormal behavior, we want to focus our management actions on that individual, the culprit. we don't want to focus on an animal that might be the ideal urban coyote, the shy individual that is never involved in conflict or very rarely. it's very important to identify the individuals in an action. but it's very difficult because for the most part they look identical. occasionally there will be characteristics for example scars, but you need to know individuals and it's very difficult to identify individuals. we do promote hazing from the public in our brochures and how to best do that.
we also as a federal agency have a type of hazing that we will do, for example, paint balls. it has two purposes. one is hazing. the physical feeling of getting hit by a paint ball is going to be really important to you. conditioning these animals in a certain area that humans are a threat to these animals in a certain area. we need to condition them to know that. the other point is again, identify individuals. getting paint on an individual so we can say down the road that's the same individual. that's the individual that keeps exhibiting this aggressive behavior. other management actions, the simple strategic barriers such as fences. these fences aren't to keep
these animals out exclusively, but what we focus on is barricading the path of least resistance. so if there is social trail these animals are using to access a place where say it's a common dog walking trail, we can block that social trail and we have done that and that removes this ease of action for these animals and active in this area has gone down. there are tools that are used in development and across the nation and scientist are trying to figure out how these tools work and how long they work and how to best implement them. what do you do if these tools don't work or if the animals do continue to go in the trend of what we are trying to avoid
as aggressive behavior. what do you do? the first frequent question is why aren't you relocating these animals? take them out of here. i want to clarify that it is illegal in the state of california to do that. that is not an option. it is never going to happen. translocating an animal is not an option. getting that information to people that that is not an option. the only option at this point is lethal removal. it has happened, and it is not an option that we want to jump to immediately, and we want to know for certain through our procedure that this is the only option. and we have a committee that we group, we regroup with our committee which i have shown before, a lot of agencies, and we discuss,
it's a case by case specific every time whether or not this is the appropriate management action of lethal removal. again, if and when this happens, where if we get to that point, individual identification is the most important component of that because we want to be 100% certain that we are targeting the individual, the problem. we want to go in there and we want to get the problem and we don't want to just blanket get any coyote and miss the problem coyote because the problem will remain. so it's incredibly important and lethal removal is not taken lightly. so, getting into this year, we are starting to implement a much more proactive approach through a pilot study to really shed some light on these mysterious animals and
really again, the ultimate goal here is to minimize conflict, and there is a lot of information based on these animals behavior and -- ecology that we just don't know. this pilot is going to get at that. this pilot is modeled on cities across the country who are doing very similar work in l.a., chicago, a variety of huge urban areas are doing this work which includes really actually getting a population count so we can tag these animals, individuals and start to actually get real numbers of how many are in the presidio. in early identification, long-term individual identification such as ear tags are going to be very important
long-term management. health assessments, we are going to do a variety of health assessment and strategy to get into their diet. are these animals eating human food? as i pointed out earlier, that is a huge driver of conflict. there are techniques that you can do to assess if they are eating natural or human food. this will give us high resolution, movement pattern of these animals and how they use this habitat in very active areas where we otherwise might not know and we get back to the public as far as signage and public awareness. part of that is going to be citizens science and public information. cities all over the country are using this as a means to engage
the public to get the information out there and to have the public help us track these animals. this is again going to be really important thinking about individual identification and ear tags and long-term monitoring of these animals, where is it going, where is the likely area where you are going to see them most often. all of this is really important in terms of gathering information. it's also a means for us to engage the public as well to get that important information out there that can really start to help influence people's behavior to again reduce this conflict of these animals that are going to be here indefinitely. on that, i want to thank you for giving me this opportunity. >> what about birth control? why are
you not doing birth control? >>mayor edwin m. lee: excuse me, sir. you will get your chance to talk. thank you for your presentation. jonathan, i want to make it clear that what you are talking about is moving in the presidio. >> yes. it's a pilot project. >> then i want some clarification. when you talk about a den, how many dens do you have? >> we confirmed one den and in previous year we've been only to see one den. they are patrolled to keep other k 9's in the area. it's going
to depend on the area. >> home range is larger than it's immediate den area? >> yes, absolutely. >> the question i have is that you are doing this in the presidio trust and i don't know how much it cost to do this and whether or not who would do this in the city outside of the presidio trust? >> we are focused on presidio trust. again, i want to highlight these studies are being done in most urban areas around the country. there are other federal agencies, usgf, usda and other organizations that did these across the country. >> the other thing you mentioned about coyotes being individuals and they have sort of different
personalities. so how do you define a coyote that is abnormal having abnormal behaviors, aggressiveness and so forth? >> that goes back to that original group, the committee we have with all of those agencies, getting other coyote experts involved. i want to again point out that urban coyotes are a relatively new thing. so the new research that's coming out of that is starting to really shed some light on specifically urban coyotes that are different behaviors than rural coyotes because of the general environment that urban areas have. so it is getting that committee with a variety of experts and to sit down and define. this is what we are going to define as normal or abnormal in our area. again, that's going to be driven by contemporary up to date
science. >> have you or other cities done enough research to understand when you talk about home range, how large of an area that is? >> it's going to be dependent on food, water and habitat. the gps callers will start to shed some light on that. >> so this is, i'm just curious would anybody know how many dens we have in this city? >> it's going to depend on the habitat type because the structure of the habitat is going to allow them to dig these dense. if they can't dig these dens, it's going to be dependent on that, will depend on the group home
range in one area like the presidio or within a variety of areas within their home range. it's difficult without getting down in the field and start assessing at that level. >> just within the presidio trust as you are doing this study, what's the cost of doing this study? >> it's a little different because as a full time employee, i do a lot of that as opposed to contracting with an individual or agency to do all of it to design all of it. so it's going to be dependent on that really. it's hard to nail down. >> any other questions? supervisor campos? >>supervisor david campos: thank you. just a question. maybe you can answer. any idea of how many coyotes are in the
presidio right now and citywide? >> we had a usgs researcher come in serve years ba and did an assessment based on the size of the presidio, it could likely support two breeding pairs and four individuals and that's going to fluctuate. as they breed there are going to be more individuals and the pups grow up, the parents are going to drive them away north of the bridge, south of the peninsula. the population is going to be, it's not 100% stable. there is a lot of ups and downs. >> when was that done? >> that was done in 2005. >> that's a long time ago. >> right now, what we can say for certainty is we have four
coyotes. again, we don't have any individual tags. the only way we can say that with certainty is if you see four individuals at once so you can say those are four individuals right there. >> do you have any plans to do a follow up assessment? it seems 11 years is a long time. >> that's what the 2016 pilot is. yes. >> thank you. >>supervisor norman yee: unfortunately, supervisor campos, he's talking about the presidio. we need to figure out how to do it citywide. >> thank you very much. next up is virginia donahue. she's the director of the san francisco department of animal care and control. welcome, virginia. presenter: thank you, supervisor. before i get started, jonathan, do you want to address the sterilization question?
>> i will just say that it is a complex topic. i would like to explain that if given the opportunity, but i don't want to take up too much time. >> let's have the other presenters go ahead and do this because we have members of the public that would like the opportunity to speak. presenter: good morning, i'm virginia donahue, san francisco animal care and control.
acc is responsible for care of abandoned and domesticated and wild animals and responsible for the animal welfare laws and regulations. as you can see our department is focused on the research of wild animals. we are in the process of hiring outside help with the assistance of recreation and parks and asked for wild life funding in the upcoming budget year. animal care and control first received calls about coyotes in 2007. in our recent history it surfaced in
an encounter with pack dogs in golden gate park. animal control were called and the coyotes were killed and many people were upset they were killed. the coyotes are here to stay and working with other agencies there is an outline that describes abnormal and normal coyote behavior. we practice recognition that animals will be treated as such. we the humans are responsible for adapting our own behavior. all of us in this room are all too aware of eddie and jasmine's.
we understand the pain an anger and their friends feel. the hard truth of this situation is that our world has changed. just as many of us can remember when we didn't lock our doors at night or when kindergartners walk by themselves to school, gone are the days when pets can wander off. acc track's coyote. while we don't know how many we have in san francisco, we do know how many we have collected. for a scale, here is a number of coyotes we have picked up as
compared to the number of raccoons. the numbers remain relatively stable. we have just been able to computerize a data base for coyote sighting. so far this year there have been 69 sightings and >>supervisor london breed: how do you get the information for these sightings? >> people will call us and we'll talk about at the very end on how to report a sighting. these are based on phone calls to us or through 311. >> when people call my office, it's appropriate to provide that information or contact you? >> either way. i believe they are keeping
their own chart and we are taking the information and putting it into our system. >> thank you. >> so what can we as a community do? how can we keep our pets safe? we have heard from residents who want us to move the coyotes. as jonathan has explained, we can't move those coyotes. to do so we need a permit from the department of fish and wild life and they have assured us they will never give us a permit because no other county wants a coyote either. jonathan has already explained scientific research shows that coyotes will breed as long as there is enough resources to sustain them. if you kill one coyote, more coyotes will come to fill that space. so recognizing that there is
sometimes a disconnect between academics and real implementers, we checked with our counter parts in cities across the country especially along the west coast and state and wild life experts. as you can see from these slides, all of these cities have seen practical coexistence. many have tried other measures including trapping but they have not worked. this is described by a chicano mall care control officer we spoke with who said when you kill a coyote, two come to the funeral. to date, we have managed this issue mostly through public education which includes signage, brochures and training and community meetings and we formed a coyote workgroup through animal control and recreation and parks with presidio trust
and national parks. since much of the recent activity has been taking place in city parks, recreation and parks will speak about this in more detail and after this presentation, i will talk more about our next steps. >>mayor edwin m. lee: thank you. lisa, from recreation and parks who is the open space manager will do a presentation. >> good morning, supervisors. lisa wane, the open space manager for the recreation and parks department. thank you for hearing this topic this morning. as a land manager of parks is to manage 220 parks and
facilities for recreation centers and pools and many open parks and open spaces such as golf parks and open spaces. these parks and open spaces provide credible habitats for wild life including coyotes. the areas which is an example of reservoirs of our local biodiversity which includes creeks which is an important water source needed. they have meadows, grass lands that contain rodents and resources and cover den sites. for coyotes and other wild life. that is just an example for natural areas of course large
portions of golden gate park some provide for all or critical habitat pieces for urban wild life. so, our challenge at recreation and parks is to steward these park lands to provide a safe recreational opportunities for visitors and residents. we understand that people are afraid. some people are afraid for themselves or for their companion animals. for that challenge, recreation and parks tries to balance these sometimes competing interest of preserving and stewarding our environment and natural resources and creating safe places for our families in san francisco. we take both of
these responsibilities very seriously, both the safety and our environmental stewardship. so, as land managers we rely on our organization and other organizations by our colleagues an animal care control and our colleagues at presidio trust and we evaluate the site conditions and respond as land managers which is our responsibility when things happen on our parkland. sf parks has been managing these issues with other experts, states and local agencies. we sponsored a number of public education and outreach workshops over the years. we did one recently in the last year at the boat house. that's been one of many.
we also conducted a very specific training with dog owners at stern grove park last year in response to the incidents that happened there and that training is focused really on hazing and how best dog owners can promote coexistence, respond to sightings and keep their companion animals safe. we've also conducted a number of staff trainings for recreation and parks field staff because they are also critical people on the ground who provide important information to us, and can help in our objective of coexistence. the staff trainings have included information about the life cycle as
our colleagues of the presidio trust talked about specifically around being aware during the breeding season, how these animals behave, how we can respond and how it's coordinated to keep good housekeeping, for example. we urge all park users to abide by park codes and park signage which ask visitors not to feed wild life and also to keep dogs on a leash in non-off leash areas. feeding of wild animals in particular either in intentionally or unintentionally as we heard from jonathan, the presidio trust, only leads to problems. those animals become acclimated to the presence of humans and can become more aggressive. so in an effort to reduce
that unintentional feedings, we have installed these garbage containers and they isolate the garbage instead of an open container that any animal can go into and retrieve the garbage. these minimize the feeding of our wild life. >> okay, when we are alerted aggressive or assertive behavior. sf rpd coordinates with our animal control to investigate the incident, the where, the how, the why if there is, and to determine many of those details. we consult with local experts as to whether that animal is
illustrating or exhibiting normal behavior. we spend a fair amount of time in the field assessing these situations. as long as the coyotes are acting normally our response is typically an additional alert mornings, advisories, outreach. we worked with last year with the stern grove dog owners group. sf dogs and others to get the word out that there was an active coyote in stern grove, for example. we look to change behaviors, both people and coyotes. so we have installed temporary fencing. there was an incident where people were actually actively feeding the coyotes in stern grove pine lake park last year. we installed some fencing in areas we identified where people were doing the feeding and
posting signs and alerted park patrol and staff as to the seriousness of that activity. we've also installed these kinds of barriers to help disrupt the coyote behavior as well. sometimes putting in a new piece of fencing in their environment along the trails they actively use can disrupt their behavior and discourage them or maybe they move elsewhere. we have also temporarily closed park trails to particularly to dogs and in some cases to dogs and people. we have done this in golden gate park. we have closed some restrooms as well as trails over all. in pine lake park this last year one section of the trail where the incident with the tragic incident with
buster happened, we advised people not to bring their dogs onto that trail. also encouraged the dog owners to be vigilant. keep their animals in the middle of the meadow, not walk against the edges where it's kind of known that the coyotes can be hanging out. so, someone summarizes i think how we as land managers have been trying to respond to this changing environment. we want to keep our parks safe for families. all kinds of families, companion animals but at the same time we take on environmental responsibility seriously. we understand it takes a team approach and we are grateful for our collaboration with animal care and control and the presidio
trust and we are looking forward to continuing to grow and develop our response team and figure out how more effectively to coexist with these animals. >> i have a question this morning. in regards to parks where people are feeding animals, and i see that all the time in terms of feeding pigeons and squirrels. do we have any laws against that? >> yes. it is against park code for people to feed animals. >> so if you see someone feeding a coyote, what do you do? >> well, if we actually see it, we would approach the person and tell them, you know, inform them that it's against the park code and depending on the situation, we might dispatch
our park patrol who could issue tickets if necessary. lots of times what happens is we don't actually see the feeding. you know, we hear from neighbors which is really helpful because we can address the site conditions, if you will, but a lot of times we don't actually observe behaviors, specifically. >>supervisor david campos: how many tickets have i -- you issued for people feeding coyotes? >> i don't know if we have issued any tickets. we have to check on that. again, it's difficult to time it right. people show up, they feed and they leave. it's very quick. >> thank you. >>mayor edwin m. -- >> installing these bins,
training on how to haze a coyote. we sent an officer to the scene yesterday and unable to find the coyote, but based on the resident description, it sounds like sheen countered a young coyote and she and her dog ran which began a chase with a coyote. if you find yourself in a similar situation, it's important to know that you never want to run. you want to pick up your dog if possible and make yourself big, loud and scary. if that doesn't work, you need to slowly back away, not turning your back on the coyote until you are a good distance away. otherwise they will chase and do what your dog would do in a similar
situation. in ingleside terrace, we would look to enhance hazing methods. they are already assisting us in this effort. we need to change the activities so the coyotes are surprised. officials that have been dealing with coyotes longer, we have concluded that it would be better off to scare the coyotes that we have than having others move in. on this slide we have a variety of tools we would like to try with the involvement of the neighborhoods. citywide, a workgroup is collaborating to develop a consistent approach to document coyotes sightings and encounters to best share information about them throughout the city. >>supervisor david campos: can you go back to the hazing materials? >> sure. these are all an experiment.
super soaker. we are going to try that. on the far left, there is a water scarecrow it's called where basically it shoots out water at random intervals for motion coming by and wild life whistles and the standard shaker. a metal can with coins in it and you shake it and throw it at the coyote. >> it looks like a burrito. it's counter intuitve. >> we try to shake up these things to see what works. there is also a coyote app, an existing app called
"pet alert". it's with the office of innovation stir challenge. we are competing to develop a coyote app for us. it's to allow people to report sightings and information on the amount of haze. across the city, we need people to help us out in a few ways: one, we need to stop feeding animals. we have had many occasions where people are feeding wild life animals. this is always bad for the wild animal. when there are warnings in the coyote area, please take precautions with your pet. this means you should be in visual contact with your dog at all times. if you have a small dog, it should be
within arms reach. i know it's difficult in areas but that has to happen. please report sightings through 311. if you need active support, please call us directly. >>supervisor norman yee: in regards to the app that's being developed, when do you think it will be available? >> there is one in california right now, but the san francisco one the competition concludes i believe in april. and then all of the developers have said they think they can do it pretty quickly. i'm thinking if everything goes right, june. >> once we have it, how are we going to let people know about it? >> oh, yeah, once we have it, everybody is going to know about it.
>>supervisor david campos: what does the app do? >> the app hasn't been developed yet but what we want it to do so when people have a coyote sighting, they can enter it and we can mark the den such that people know to avoid this area. it will have the reminders about hazings and it has video demonstration, that kind of thing as well as hazing equipment that you could individually try. one of the features of southern california app has right now is it will send out if there is a sighting, it will send out a broadcast to people who subscribe. right now that feature is not terrible useful to us because the range is 6 miles. for us that's our whole city. that would need to be adapted for us. >>supervisor norman yee: you
talk about hazing and ingleside terraces and balboa area, and possibly using that. what is the result of hazing? what's the goal of it? because it seems maybe you are driving them into another residential area. >> our ultimate goal and we are not sure how achievable this is because there have been mixed feelings across the country. our ultimate goal to keep them away from people no matter what neighborhood their in. they are not going away but if we can drive most of them back into avoiding conflict with people, we'll all be in better shape. >> i know that we tried to get some resources initially to help out, to focus on the coyote situation and was
just a very small amount to get things going. what would it take citywide in terms of resources for the things that you are trying to implement? >> well, we asked this year recreation and parks has generously loaned us $15,000 to get things started. we asked for $20-40,000 in next year's budget. that's mostly for public education and hazing materials. we are not sure which of these things are going to work, and we've been advised that people across the country need to continue relocating them. if we got $150, okay, let's see if this works. >> as you are working with neighborhoods and you are letting them know about these different tools, would there be any staff
follow ups in terms of neighborhoods and continuing the process or are you going to introduce them. >> we are coming up with a rotate. based on when we get the volunteers, a rotation plan because a lot of these tools are things you have to put on your lawn. we are not going to put things on people's lawns. that would end badly. we are looking for volunteers in the area. right now, we don't have the officers in place to do all of this work. so we are basically taking from our other programs to get this done. if the problem grows more and if we need more officers on the ground, we are going to need more officers. we only have 13 to cover everything that happens in this city 7 days a week from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.. we don't even have 24/7 coverage at this point. >>supervisor norman yee:
thank you very much. any other questions? thank you for your presentation. what i would like to do is allow the public comment at this point. i will call you up. you can lineup on this side to my left, to your right, and you have 2 minutes to address the body. so dr. daniel brown, roger riter, rebecca, shirley link, sally stevens, patrick riley. go ahead. i have two more cards. i will call those later.
public speaker: hello, i'm dr. daniel brown. i taught city college for 20 years. i live in ingleside. in the past we had laws that were changed and i think we can change these laws. i do not want to be afraid that my cats will be killed because i don't put them on a leash. this is crazy. if there were bounty laws, we are not tied by the past and this idea that because coyotes were here 150 years ago that we have to put up with them now. they are killing our family members. when i call the department of animal control, i was told, nothing can be done until a human being is killed. well, maybe that's what it's
going to take. it could not continue as it is right now. we are having members of our family mangled and eaten and we are pulling our hair out and pushing our hands in our faces and there is nothing we can do. we can change the laws. if you can't translocate a dangerous animal, then the laws should be made. if it was an animal killing another animal, if it was a pitbull or grizzly bear killing our pets, it would be translocated or euthanized or at least injecting with some kind of material so it will eventually die out. we do not have to be so politically correct and insane and let these animals come into this city and when the chain is up that we no
longer live with wild animals. [ applause ] >> roger, c'mon up. mark, go ahead and lineup. public speaker: thank you, supervisors. i'm roger rooter, past president of balboa association and president of the council. i'm speaking on behalf of the terrace that support our neighbors. frankly i'm very disappointed by the response of acc which seems to be the focus that says there is nothing we can do. you have to adapt your behavior. i was struck by the fact that the lady referred to the fact that we now lock our doors, walk our kids to
school. presumably we must further restrict our behavior to the perceived wild animals in our city. this is an urban environment. if we were in a rural environment or national park, it would be one. our rights and rights of our domestic pets and the rights of our children, out weigh the rights of coyotes. last week in balboa, a coyote jumped a fence and killed a small dog. was the owner supposed to keep the dog on the leash while walking it in its backyard? do we have to wait until a child is attack before we do something. simply throwing up our hands and say we can't do anything is
a solution. public speaker: hi. my name is rebecca. i have a non-profit called wild life services. we have worked -- we. i want to introduce myself and services and i would like to offer our assistance with working with coyotes. we have done a special education event. i would like to encourage as you are doing and moving forward with the coyote management plan, a comprehensive one and i hope it will include lethal control only after a human is hurt, not in response to an animal being killed. a great presentation by jonathan, by the way, you said everything i wanted to say. i would like to address the notion that i hear all the time if
i get rid of the animal, i will get rid of the problem and that is not very true. as jonathan said, when we remove these animals. >> [inaudible] >> excuse me, sir. you will get a chance. >> excuse me, this is public testimony. >> thank you. anyway, i'm sorry for the loss of pets. there is a balance that has to be struck between humans taking responsibility for their animals. there is a way to live -- can we have him go out? >> everybody is going to have their chance to express their opinion. let's be respectful because people will have a different opinion. please stop. okay. thank you very much, sir. >> it's not just opinion, it's scientific research that we've done.
we can live peacefully and safely among the community. what happened was the human i guess yesterday was maybe being chased. it was probably communicating with the dog. it's a k9 thing going on. coyotes are more related to the jackal. they do follow humans for food as a way to provide food. i look forward to developing a comprehensive plan. thanks. >> thank you. public speaker: the division of agriculture and natural resources -- >> would you like to state your name? >> i'm sorry, julie link from the university of california has held a vertebrate pest contest since 1962. this year it was held march
7th and they chose to put the coyote on the front of their literature, their agenda. they held a symposium specifically for coyotes. the problem is huge, and a multitude of distinctive state organizations and county organizations participate in this conference. it's apparent to me that san francisco county is not involved or vailing themselves to this conference. pest include rodents, wild pigs and coyotes. the agencies that are involved here are department of public health and
environmental health. their absence here is notable. so, from an historical standpoint about the presence of coyotes in san francisco, they were present in the 50s and 60s and the san francisco department has a squad that exterminated coyotes. >> thank you very much. public speaker: hi, my name is sally stevens, the chair of dog group. i'm here to speak in coexistence. we can work together. we haven't in recent years because people haven't known what they were doing. they didn't know what the do. we need a lot more education of people and getting the information out and perhaps i would like to offer when there are sightings in the area
where there haven't been some, maybe we can have more public outreach and meetings so people can know what's going on. no coyote behavior is abnormal behavior sort of thing. we need to have more targeted hazing and i'm delighted to hear that's what acc is now working on. i think we have to make sure people know what they are doing and we need more information, more outreach. there needs to be some modiion in terms of dog owner behavior in a sense of being more aware of what is going on around you and where you are with your dog and what your dog is doing and that sort of thing. i think it's not overall onerous to ask people in stern grove to walk closer to the middle as opposed to along the edges when there have been incidents. don't do it all the time, but that sort of thing. as you all
know, off leash is a huge issue in the city of san francisco and we don't want to lose that we have in city parks, but i believe we have coexist with coyotes with owners and homeowners. we have to get the recognition and knowledge of what to do and carry through with it. >>supervisor norman yee: thank you, sally. i want to call a few more cards.
>> hello. i have a terrier and there were coyotes. i tried to use a cane to ward it off that was basically unsuccessful. last week i got pepper spray. that was successful. it's unfortunate. i would love the coyote to be up there but people feed the coyote, people have their big dogs interact with the coyote. i have been on the phone with animal care and control and explained the best time to see the vast majority of dog owners is early in the morning because people had to get to work so everybody is on a routine. that was 3 weeks ago and i have not
seen anybody up there. with regards to the trash cans, i see trash spread out everyday where the coyote or raccoons are getting into it. overall, my concerns have been ignored by animal care and control. i don't want anything bad to happen to the coyote, but at this current pathway, i see it within a couple feet of different dogs, the tourist up there and it's going to end up poorly for the coyote. thank you. >>supervisor norman yee: thank you. public speaker: good morning, my name is mark, the president of the
ingleside terrace association and we are a primary sight -- site that is not an open area with presidio trust. in fact presidio trust has made the decision that it's appropriate for coyotes to reside with the residents in the presidio area and they as a function of them decided to take up residence there, need to adhere to certain rules. there is a difference between cohabitation. we need to know where it's feasible for them to be situated. i do not see that today. i see the coyotes making the determination. as a result, we have heard the pups are driven out. we know where they are going. they are taking
up other spaces in san francisco. obviously the population has stripped it south. we know that coyote dens are in the presidio, but we have no idea of where those dens are and we have no way of containing those areas. if the city wants to designate areas to those ranges it needs to take the responsibility to make sure they have the sufficient resources, food and water in order to stay in those areas and there is action to deter them. the information offered here has no data collection and talks about putting thing on people's lawns where they are scared of humans. putting things on lawns, does not associate a coyote with a human. we don't understand how that's going to achieve the results. thank you. public speaker:
my name is jeff marquis. my dog was killed by a coyote a week ago. we have never had a coyote and never heard from them or saw them or had a problem. i couldn't be more liberal than anybody you can possibly know. i couldn't be more left wing, but this is getting ridiculous. we have this huge area where coyotes are breeding without any control of it at all. we have the presidio, the marin county and all the areas around where breeding is constantly happening. what the hell is going on. we have this going on. now they are talking about hazing. what the hell does it do when you are hazing when they are
breeding. there are more pups moving in the area and they are spreading out and you are letting them stay here. c'mon, give us a break. we do not want to have them. we need pest control? our cats do fine pest control. we don't need coyotes out there killing mice and rats. the damn cats will do it. what we need is we needless coyotes or no coyotes in an urban city. coyotes don't belong in the city. they are only here because they have been allowed to proliferate and allowed to expand in the areas we love and now in the city. don't do anything about it? they are not going away. there will be more of them. they will spread out more. irvine has already had three kids bitten and another one scratched. we are going to have more in a
year. how many pups are there in a year? this is getting absurd. we have to have control over this. >>supervisor norman yee: thank you very much. next speaker? public speaker: thank you, supervisors. my name is doug wolf. we have to have public access and the environment. we coexist with nature all around us. first off as a son and brother of a dog and cat parent. it's difficult to lose a humor animal. we sympathize with those families who have lost family members. in areas due to the drought, rodents and their food sources are plentiful where they feed.
closer to homes and businesses where rodents and vermin feed on garbage. we are a friendly city an ensure our dogs are social and friendly. it is the guardian and handler who is responsible for prevention to harm. coyotes and other wild life experts have reported to you before and currently work with the city on this issue. they continue to advocate for the methods of presidio trust and train coyotes and other wild life to stay in certain areas and post signage. additionally strobe lighting has been tested on ranches
and farms which is very successful. i would like to add with the advent of recreation and parks natural areas program, they are planning on using very high carcinogen pesticides. this will not only affect our dogs and children, but also the wild life that we choose to protect in the city. on monday, the environment commission approved to exempt and ban carcinogens and i would urge you to do the same. thank you. >>supervisor norman yee: thank you. any other public comment, please lineup. i don't have anymore cards. public speaker: hi. i'm mary molly, a san francisco native. i am or was a cat owner. my beloved cat that the
whole neighborhood loves has gone missing. i have looked at cat remains to see if it was my beloved cat left from a coyote attack. as a child i grew up playing all over these streets and now we have children playing on the same streets as coyotes is unacceptable. this coexistence is really a farce and you are putting everyone at risk. the whole idea that i'm a pet owner and i vote, and i don't think the city is doing anything appropriate to take responsibility for the coyotes and to protect it's owners and our beloved pets. i think something really needs to be done and
>>supervisor norman yee: thank you. any other public comment? yes? public speaker: my name is peggy low. i'm the owner of a dog killed last year. i have listened to all the comments today. i understand the concern about maintaining the coyotes in the city. i don't agree with it. we are an urban area. we pay high taxes. the coyotes aren't paying taxes, they aren't voting. they are killing out pets. if that pet was killed on their front lawn, i think the family has the right to say, this is against the law. this is something that needs to be rectified. i don't think it's right to say we have to haze them and let
them continue to populate. we have to do something. i don't know about birth control, i don't know if that works. this is not their habitat. this is san francisco. we were walking our dog last week and we see a coyote by the reservoir and the city college. he's sitting there. he's not by himself. there are other coyotes. i think it's time to act and stop making all these platitudes about how we have to exist with these animals. they are wild animals. >> thank you very much. any other public comment? mr.
donahue? is there any additional public comment? seeing none, public comment is closed. ms. donahueso, we've heard from the public and there is mixed opinions here. when it seems that -- i asked you earlier about what kind of resources we need. i think it was mark that mentioned how we actually collect the data? where the coyotes are, how many of them and so forth. if it's taking, we need to tag them, for instance, is that part of the plan? >> tagging is is not part of the plat at the moment. the presidio is working on that in their area. i think we woould, it's not
easy to tag a coyote. you have to trap the coyote to tag the coyote. so i think we would probably have to bring in usda or california fish and wild life. do you have an opinion on this? i think what you were saying is we have to get a permit from you, but are you able to actually tag? >>supervisor norman yee: please identify yourself for the public. >> lieutenant gene from california department of fish and wild life. you have to apply a permit through our department. >> apply for what?
>> a permit. >> and what's the process for doing that? is it difficult? >> the process to apply for the permit is not difficult to apply. it's up to the biologist if they decide it's an appropriate project or not. >>supervisor norman yee: has there been any area near the bay area where they have applied for the permit? >> i'm not aware of anyone in the state who has applied yet for a permit to tag coyotes. >> okay. can we get that information? what's the closest location where they have actually applied for a permit and have used it? >> i can contact our biologist who over see the permit process and if someone provides me with an e-mail or phone number, i can relay that information to you. >> is it possible to get
that information to ms. donahue? >> sure. >> thank you. >> so i think there is a question. go ahead. >> also, we don't have anyone in our department who has the skill set to tag a coyote. so we would need to go outside for that. >> right, and we are not discussing who you have or who you don't have. i think what we are asking, i think the public's clear about some of the things that we can do or should do, and that's why i ask about the permit. the process of determining what we need to do and who do we need we'll find out. that's why i asked earlier if it was a premature question about what kind of resources do we need. it's time for the city, i feel, to put some resources into this to start
addressing this more aggressively. the data collection is one thing. can we actually do for instance, we can't identify the coyote. it's tough to know whether any of our pets would be -- successful. we need to move the coyotes successfully in a more desirable place where we have fewer interaction with our residential area. if that's a positive thing, we should know that is happening. i think the only way we can do that is if we actually track them. i'm very interested in making that happen. what i need to know is how we can make it happen and what kind of resources, in other words, what kind of funding do we need to bring in these experts. what the residents in my district is
asking that we need to cough up the resources for that. it's important we take care of this. so that's where i'm coming from with that. >> okay. i can look into that and getd back to your office. we have talked to the usda in utah and colorado, but i do not know if they are able to come to and do that for us and there is cost. if they are not able to do it, i don't know who else is and they can look into it. >> i wouldn't expect you to know today. but what i'm asking is to go ahead and do some research on it and maybe an area not that far away from here, maybe in california. there must be someone in california. that's the type of research we need to do.
i don't know if any of the presenters spoke with uc davis. i got this from bridget. do you have this report? >> i do not, but i bet i can get that from bridget. >> i heard some good things about it. i haven't seen a report. so, maybe that report will shed some light into how we can approach this. >> wool -- we'll take a look at it. we are opening to anything that comes along. this is a new field. >> thank you very much, ms. donahue. >>supervisor david campos: thank you. it's very difficult in so many respects actually and i do believe that it requires a lot of people to do a lot of things. as a dog owner, i certainly want to do everything i can to
protect my dog winston. but, one thing that i appreciated was that presidio trust talking about the payment they are doing where they are trying to do a number of things including having account of how many coyotes there are. you know, i agree with supervisor yee that i want the city to have a better sense of what the estimate of how many coyotes there are in the city there actually is. i understand the fluid concept it seems to me that we have to have a better sense to that to know how to deal with this. is there a plan on the part of the city to do something like the pilot the presidio trust is doing? >> at this point the city's plan is to let the presidio trust do their work and learn from them what's effective. >> see, i don't think that's a good strategy. i think you should let them
do that, but i think that i don't think we should have to wait until their work is completed. i would encourage you -- because their work is limited to the presidio. it's not like the rest of the city is going to benefit from that. so i would encourage you to have our own strategy because, and i think that we can learn already from what they have done, but i actually think if we are asking the presidio trust to do the things they are doing, that we should be willing to do that ourselves as well. i think what i would hope happens in terms of the department as we go forward with the budget process, that maybe you can put together a plan including a budget that we can create,
that we can add to the budget process. what i'm saying, as a dog owner, i'm willing to do what i can but i would like to know the city is doing what they can as well. waiting for the presidio trust to do it's work and look at that, to me that's not proactive enough. >>supervisor norman yee: thank you, supervisor campos. i think what makes sense if it's practical, is the presidio trust is in san francisco. coyotes don't know what the border is between presidio and the rest of san francisco. it makes a lot of sense if we could actually see if we can expand your pilot throughout san francisco to have a little more comprehensive approach to this issue. so, i would like if possible
>> 7 and a half million renovation is part of the clean and safe neighbor's park fund which was on the ballot four years ago and look at how that public investment has transformed our neighborhood. >> the playground is unique in that it serves a number of age groups, unlike many of the other properties, it serves small children with the children's play grounds and clubhouses that has basketball
courts, it has an outdoor soccer field and so there were a lot of people that came to the table that had their wish list and we did our best to make sure that we kind of divided up spaces and made sure that we kept the old features of the playground but we were able to enhance all of those features. >> the playground and the soccer field and the tennis fields and it is such a key part of this neighborhood. >> we want kids to be here. we want families to be here and we want people to have athletic opportunities. >> we are given a real
responsibility to insure that the public's money is used appropriately and that something really special comes of these projects. we generally have about an opportunity every 50 years to redo these spaces. and it is really, really rewarding to see children and families benefit, you know, from the change of culture, at each one of these properties >> and as a result of, what you see behind us, more kids are playing on our soccer fields than ever before. we have more girls playing sports than we have ever had before. [ applause ] fp >> and we are sending a strong message that san francisco families are welcome and we want you to stay.
larsen. mr. clerk. do you have any thing to say is this. >> please silence all cell phones. items acted on today will appear on the april 5th board supervisors agenda. >> can we call item one. >> motion approving the direction of stephen [inaudible] for the fire commission january 5th ending 2020. >> do you have any comments? >> i do. thank you supervisor tang. i call this hearing today because the board of supervisors has a role to play. the san francisco fire department is over $300 million entity and one of the largest departments and up with of the most important departments to public safety in the city and county of san francisco. when the mayor a ports
commissioner, directors, commissioners or board of appeals, entertainment, police or utilities commissioners, the board of supervisor holds hearings and has a say in that meart matter. for whatever reason our city charter does not afford the automatic process for fire commissioners. yet they're very important issues happening in the fire department and serious concerns from labor and the board should have an opportunity to discuss this with our fire commissioner. in the four years -- let me go back a little bit. and say from the onset that i support commissioner hardiman and commissioner nikagio 100 percent. i served with them as a fire commissioner. steve is a with distingh